There But For The Grace Of God

You don’t see a lot of people out on the street in the early morning before sunrise, so I was a little surprised when I found Dave.

I was heading toward home during my morning run when I spotted him walking unsteadily on the side of the road. With his back to the traffic, weaving slightly, he was an accident waiting to happen. I stopped to ask if he was OK. He wasn’t. He said his name was Dave and he’d walked from Albany and didn’t know where he was or where he was going. I had him sit down on a retaining wall by the sidewalk.

I rang the doorbell of the nearest house. When the unlucky homeowner looked out, sleepy and rumpled, I apologized for waking him and explained the situation. We have to call 9-1-1, I said. Tell them we need EMS.

He went into dick mode and said, “No, I’m calling the cops.”

How about you just let me call, I asked. That’s when he pretty much slammed the door in my face. I went to stand on the sidewalk with my new friend Dave as the guy in the house peered at us through the window. He topped it off by conspicuously latching the door.

Anyway, the cops showed up and I went on my way. I’m pretty sure they took Dave to the hospital. What the hell.

I guess I don’t blame the guy in the house for being rattled, and in the unlikely event that he’s ever wandering around in the dark alone, lost and disoriented, I hope somebody stops to help him.

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